Tuesday, June 14, 2005

What is Project Cycle Management?

1. The Project Cycle Management


Project Cycle Management (PCM)
is a term used to describe the management activities and decision-making procedures used during the life-cycle of a project (including key tasks, roles and responsibilities, key documents and decision options).

PCM helps to ensure that:

  • Projects are supportive of overarching policy objectives of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and of development partners;

  • projects are relevant to an agreed strategy and to the real problems of target groups/beneficiaries;

  • projects are feasible, meaning that objectives can be realistically achieved within the constraints of the operating environment and capabilities of the implementing agencies; and

  • benefits generated by projects are likely to be sustainable.


A typical Project Cycle in development project has 6 main phases, as shown in the Figure below.



For the successful implementation and operation of JICA projects, the cycle highlights three common principles:

  1. Decision making criteria and procedures are defined at each phase (including key information requirements and quality assessment criteria);
  2. The phases in the cycle are progressive - each phase should be completed for the next to be tackled with success; and
  3. New programming and project identification draws on the results of monitoring and evaluation as part of a structured process of feedback and institutional learning.




2. Logical Framework Approach

The Logical Framework Approach (LFA) is an analytical and management tool which is now used (in one form or another) by most multi-lateral and bi-lateral aid agencies, international NGOs and by many partner governments. It is a core tool used within Project Cycle Management.

The LFA should be thought of as an 'aid to thinking' which allows information to be analysed and organized in a structured way.

The Logical Framework Matrix (the Logframe) consists of a matrix with four columns and four (or more) rows, which summarise the key elements of a project plan, namely:

  • The project's hierarchy of objectives (Project Description)

  • The key external factors critical to the project's success (Assumptions); and

  • How the project's achievements will be monitored and evaluated (Indicators and Sources of Verification)

The general structure of the Logframe matrix and a brief description of the type of information it should contain is shown in the Figure below.







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